OK, first Mark Sanford goes and visits the Girl from Ipanema or Nicaragua or Argentina. Unless Sanford now plans to run for President as a Democrat, his stock in the 2012 presidential sweepstakes has all but vanished.

Now, today, Alaska Governor and former Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin announces she is resigning her seat as Governor midway through her first term. Though certainly a dynamo with high favorables (80%) and in a statistical dead heat for fave Republicans (next to Romney and Huckabee), she is now seeking to recast her image nationally. I am sure Tina Fey will be happy anyhoo.

So here stands Haley Barbour. He’s the only southern Republican Governor with any gray hair left. Did I mention that he used to be RNC Chair? Like Barack Obama, if Haley gets in, he might just be the last one standing due to other candidates imploding all around him. I have thought for years that he’s more of a bottom-of-the-ticket-shore-up-the-base kind of guy that could complement a Romney or a Pawlenty or a Giuliani and help claim traditional red states from Virginia to Arizona and all points in between.

Haley’s timing is near perfect with his term ending in early 2011 – just in time for Iowa and New Hampshire.

I think he’s going to be part of the conversation, especially if Republican prospects continue to lag and the search for leaders intensifies.